A substitute check will have legal effect as a new type of negotiable instrument beginning 10/28/04. It will be a paper reproduction of the original, printed in full duplex mode (meaning front and back will be printed). The front of the check image will be on the front, the back of the check image will be on the back. There will additionally be other information required to be on it before it can be considered a true substitute check. For example, it must contain the legal legend that tells the recipient that it is a legal copy of their check and can be used the same as the original. It must also have an added MICR line that is a replica of the original, making it suitable for automated processing. What will be different is that in the forward collection process, the MICR line will have a "4" in position 44. A return item substitute check will have a "5" in that position.
It must also show, in specific designated areas on the front, the truncating bank's routing number and the date of truncation, the routing number of the bank that created the substitute check and the date.
Plus, it must conform in check stock, dimensions, aspect ratio, etc. to accepted standards for checks.